Top Birmingham public school launches free place scheme

 

One of Britain’s leading independent schools is raising £10m to provide free places for 100 pupils from disadvantaged homes by 2017.

John Claughton, the headmaster of King Edward’s Boys’ School in Birmingham, is trying to recreate a social mix at the 800-pupil school.

“When I was here as a boy 80 per cent of the pupils were here for free,” he said – one of the highest percentages of non fee-paying pupils for any independent school in the country. King Edward’s was a direct grant school under the system abolished by Labour in the 1970s.

The school, which has regularly topped exam league tables over the past two decades, has already made great strides – 21 sponsors have emerged from the ranks of alumni who have individually pledged to pupils through the school.

Of the 800 boys at the school, 279 currently have some form of financial assistance – 186 on assisted places, 77 attending free and the rest on scholarships.

If the fund-raising campaign is successful it will have 40 per cent of its pupils receiving some form of financial support, making it the private school with the second largest intake of disadvantaged pupils in the country.

John Claughton, headmaster of King Edward’s School (David Marsden/Page One) John Claughton, headmaster of King Edward’s School (David Marsden/Page One)
The alumni who have already contributed include Lee Child, the author of the Jack Reacher private eye novels who told Mr Claughton: “I didn’t enjoy my time here –  but my parents were proud of what I’d achieved”. They have already raised enough cash to fund about 60 places.

The upshot is that King Edward’s has become more representative of the make-up of the city it serves than most other schools in Birmingham.

“We have 60 per cent Asian pupils and 15 to 20 per cent are Muslims – an increasing number of boys from ethnic minority backgrounds in a place where they’re talking about ‘Trojan Horse’ schools,” he said, a reference to  allegations of a takeover of schools by hard-line Islamists.

“In parts of the city you have schools which are 99 per cent Muslim because of the area they serve and others which take their children predominantly from white working class estates.

“In terms of integration within this city, those boys coming here are being successful and not being cornered within their own communities. That is important.”

The school has gone out of its way to encourage junior schools within the city to encourage their pupils to aspire to a place at King Edward’s. Visits have been made to more than 100 primaries, and the school runs special sessions before the start of the school year for those new pupils who may be the only ones from their school attending, in an attempt to familiarise themselves with their new surroundings.

The results has been a flood of applications – 560 – for assisted places.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
Mock the tweet: Ukip leader Nigel Farage and comedian Frankie Boyle
peopleIt was a polite exchange of words, as you can imagine
Life and Style
fashion
Life and Style
Britons buy more than 30 million handsets each year, keeping them for an average of 18 months
tech
Arts and Entertainment
TV Presenters Ant McPartlin and Dec Donnelly. Winners of the 'Entertainment Programme' award for 'Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway'
musicAnt and Dec confirmed as hosts of next year's Brit Awards
Arts and Entertainment
Orson Welles made Citizen Kane at 25, and battled with Hollywood film studios thereafter
film
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

SEN Teaching Assistant

£45 - £65 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: Supply SEN Support Jobs in Bris...

SEN Teaching Assistant

£45 - £60 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: Supply SEN Support Jobs in Glou...

Humanities and Economics Teacher - January 2015 - Malaysia

£18000 - £20400 per annum + Accommodation, Flights, Medical Cover: Randstad Ed...

SEN Teaching Assistant needed for long term assignment

£45 - £55 per day: Randstad Education Preston: We are looking for an experienc...

Day In a Page

Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes
Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs:

Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs

"I have never regarded anything I have done in "the media" as a proper job"
Lyricist Richard Thomas shares his 11-step recipe for creating a hit West End musical

11-step recipe for creating a West End hit

Richard Thomas, the lyricist behind the Jerry Springer and Anna Nicole Smith operas, explains how Bob Dylan, 'Breaking Bad' and even Noam Chomsky inspired his songbook for the new musical 'Made in Dagenham'
Tonke Dragt's The Letter for the King has finally been translated into English ... 50 years on

Buried treasure: The Letter for the King

The coming-of-age tale about a boy and his mission to save a mythical kingdom has sold a million copies since it was written by an eccentric Dutchwoman in 1962. Yet until last year, no one had read it in English
Can instilling a sense of entrepreneurship in pupils have a positive effect on their learning?

The school that means business

Richard Garner heads to Lancashire, where developing the 'dragons' of the future is also helping one community academy to achieve its educational goals
10 best tablets

The world in your pocket: 10 best tablets

They’re thin, they’re light, you can use them for work on the move or keeping entertained
Lutz Pfannenstiel: The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents

Lutz Pfannenstiel interview

The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents
Pete Jenson: Popular Jürgen Klopp can reignite Borussia Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern Munich

Pete Jenson's a Different League

Popular Klopp can reignite Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern
John Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

The use of the British hostage demonstrates once again the militants' skill and originality in conducting a propaganda war, says Patrick Cockburn
The killer instinct: The man who helps students spot potential murderers

The killer instinct

Phil Chalmers travels the US warning students how to spot possible future murderers, but can his contentious methods really stop the bloodshed?
Clothing the gap: A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd

Clothing the gap

A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd
Fall of the Berlin Wall: Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain

The Fall of the Berlin Wall

Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain